Going the distance: reflections on a long-distance running success with SOLE.
Long-distance running machine Mike Ehredt talks us through the importance of rest and recovery in his Trans-Rockies and Hood to Coast races.
Running must be in my DNA. The last forty years prove that. If there is anything I have learned it is the power of recovery, which seems to be a much needed commodity the older I get. Regardless of our age or our experience in running, recovery is the juice in the jar of success. In my career SOLE footbeds and sandals have played a huge role in my adventures.
- 2010: 4424 miles from Oregon to Maine. No injuries or lost time.
- 2012: 81 marathons in 81 days. 2146 miles from International Falls, MN to Galveston, TX. No injuries or lost time.
- 2016: 300 miles in 6 days in Sandpoint, ID. No injuries or lost time
- 2008,14,15,17: Finish Hardrock 100
This year would turn out to be a plate-full of multi-day running events. I finished my 7th Consecutive Boston Marathon. Five days later finished a back to back Trail 50k and 25K. In May I finished DragonsBack in Wales, a 200 miles 5-day race with no issues, no injuries. The true test, though, would be Trans-Rockies (150 miles in Six Days in the Rocky Mountains) followed by Hood To Coast Relay (24 hours/200 miles) only 5 days later.
A quick turnaround of 24 hours at home allowed me to collect my road shoes and head for Hood to Coast, the oldest relay in the country and the granddaddy of them all.
What is unique about these two events is that they are two completely different surfaces to run on in such a short time. Trail and asphalt. As a seasoned runner I incorporate both surfaces in my training so that my feet and legs, connective tissues and nerve endings have been exposed to each. Often, if you have a bad day running and the legs don't feel good it can be looked at as lack of training and the “Oh I need to go harder or do more”, specifically if you are primarily on the same surface everyday. In reality, connective tissues and nerves fire in different ways on trail and road.
Trans Rockies allowed me enough time to recover with getting off my feet each day but to also spend some time with active recovery walking around and that is where my SOLE sandals came into play. I love the firmness and secure fit of them and the deep heel cup. The orthopedic design was perfect for my feet and I experienced no slippage. I made it a point to walk for 15 minutes each day AFTER the runs in TransRockies and then elevate my feet during a 10 minute power nap.
A quick turnaround of 24 hours at home allowed me to collect my road shoes and head for Hood to Coast, the oldest relay in the country and the granddaddy of them all. There would be 1050 teams and 200 miles to cover from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon.
Unlike a stage race on trail, a relay race on road does not allow for much sleep. You are also in cramped quarters in a van and after running your leg there is not a lot of time for recovery such as rolling and stretching. It's a case of finish, get in and go. The shock of going from dirt to asphalt is really minimal IF you have incorporated some training on the roads. I anticipated this and made it a point to once a week hit the asphalt. I really enjoyed peeling off socks and shoes and slipping into my SOLE Mendocino Sport Slides for the 4 hour breaks from running that we had. Our entire team had the SOLE sandals and I feel it contributed to our success as we garnered 3rd place in our division and 48th overall!
Due diligence is needed when it comes to the miles we put on our legs and the cumulative fatigue our bodies feel. Rest, Recover, Rejuvenate. I conserve to preserve. Treat those feet with respect. Give em’ some love!